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Charles's Story

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Charles Lee Earnhart, 69, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at his home in Findley Township, Mercer.
Born in Sharon on Sept. 15, 1947, he was a son of Charles and Helen Earnhart and the second of six siblings, along with his sisters Carole, Catherine, Audrey, Mary, and his brother James.
Lee graduated from Ursuline Catholic High School in Youngstown, Ohio, and attended science classes at Youngstown State University.
While not his original vocational intention, Lee found a long and satisfying career in working with troubled teens at the Youth Development Center in New Castle. During his 37 years at the state center, he focused his efforts on teens with substance abuse issues and founded a program for abused and neglected young women.
Lee had a wide variety of hobbies, although he was perhaps best known as a master pyrotechnician. He shot professional fireworks for decades over New Year's and Fourth of July celebrations across the country for Pyrotecnico FX, based in New Castle.
Lee's other passions included cooking, fishing, gardening, bee keeping, home construction projects, camping, and cross-country road trips.
He was also a member of the Grove City Eagles post 1895 and the Mercer American Legion.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Sanford Earnhart; his children, daughter Alison Earnhart of Austin, Texas and son Wylie Earnhart and his wife, Eleanor Earnhart, also of Austin, Texas.
Lee was a dedicated family man and was heavily involved in his children's school and personal activities, including the Mercer High School band program and the HONK!TX brass band community.
He is also survived by his five siblings, and was preceded in death by his parents.
A memorial celebration for family and friends will be held at a later date.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Cunningham Funeral Home Inc., 144 S. Pitt St., Mercer, Pa. 16137.
Published on March 19, 2017
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